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Aiki

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Aiki is a Japanese martial arts principle or tactic. In Japanese Aiki is formed from two kanji:

* 合 - ai - joining
* 氣 - ki - spirit

The kanji for "ai" represents a pot with a lid on it. Hence, "ai" symbolizes to two things fitting together. Aiki should not be confused with "wa" which refers to harmony. The kanji for "ki" represents a boiling pot filled with rice. Hence, "ki" symbolizes energy. (See the qi main article for further information).

Thus aiki's meaning is to fit, join or combine energy. However, care must be taken about the absolute meanings of words when discussing concepts derived from other cultures and expressed in different languages. This is particularly true when the words we use today have been derived from symbols, in this case Chinese and Japanese kanji, which represent ideas rather than literal translations of the components. Historical use of a term can influence meanings and be passed down by those wishing to illustrate ideas with the best word or phrase available to them. In this way, there may be a divergence of the meaning between arts or schools within the same art. The characters "ai" and "ki" have translations to many different English words.

Practitioners of Korean arts use the prefix "hapki-" which is similar to the Japanese "aiki-" since they share the same Chinese ideograph.

The use of the term would be passed on orally, as such teachings were often a closely-guarded secret.[1] In some schools, concepts like aiki are described in logical, tangible, terms based on physics, while in other definitions of aiki tend to be vague and open-ended, or more concerned with spiritual aspects. The use of the term aiki can often be ambiguous.

Aiki lends its name to various Japanese martial arts most notably aikido and its parent art, Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu. These arts tend to use the principle of aiki as a core element underpining the bulk of their techniques. Aiki is an important principle in several other arts such as Kito-ryu and various forms of kenjutsu. It is found as a concept in arts as diverse as karate[2] and judo.[3] Aiki arts are generally classed as soft martial arts. The aiki arts place great emphasis on the use of qi energy. Techniques accomplished with aiki are subtle and require little mechanical force.

The principle of aiki is also present in many Korean martial arts where the principle is referred to as hapki (합기), most notably hapkido and its softer equivalent hankido. The concept of Aiki

Aiki is a complex concept, and three aspects of it are as follows:

1) Blending not clashing

Aiki typically describes an idea of oneness or blending in the midst of combat. In aikido it generally describes the more elevated notion of blending rather than clashing. "Blending" is often described even within aikido as "awase".[4] Many definitions for "aiki" seem to be based around "awase". Emphasis is upon joining with the rhythm and intent of the opponent in order to find the optimal position and timing with which to apply force. To blend with an attack, it is usually necessary to yield to incoming forces, so aiki is closely related to the principle of ju. Aiki is about engaging an attack, not retreating from one.[5]

2) Dominating the assailant

The aiki practitioner is able to dominate the assailant and 'lead' them and their attack into advantageous positions. Body movements (tai sabaki) used for this may be large or small and subtle. Subtle weight shifting and the application of pressure to the assailant enable one to lead an assailant, keep him static, or keep him unbalanced (kuzushi) in order to employ the one’s own technique. In the same manner, through deceptive movements, the aiki practitioner may negate a defence response from the assailant or create a defence response from the assailant that puts him even further into peril. There is a strong degree of intent, will or psychology[6] to this aspect of domination. Mind and body are coordinated.

3) Use of internal stength - Ki energy

Kiai and aiki use the same kanji (transposed) and can be thought of as the inner and the outer aspect of the same principle.[7] Kiai relates to the manifestation, emission or projection of ones own energy (internal strength), while Aiki relates to the merging of one's energy with the energy emitted from an external source (blending). Thus kiai is union with our own, internal energy while aiki is union with an attacker's energy. Kiai consists of all parts of the body being unified and directed to one intent. Aiki, ultimately has to do with a very good ability to manipulate kiai upon contact so that the practitioner blends his ki with the attacker’s ki instantaneously. This use of ki will involve the use of kokyu power, i.e. breathing is coordinated with movement.[8] Kokyu Ryoku is the natural power that can be produced when body and consciousness (mind) are unified.[9] The term "kokyu" is can also be used to describe a situation in which two opponent's are moving with appropriate timing.

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Aikido is a modern Japanese Martial Art and is very different from disciplines such as Karate, Kick Boxing, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, MMA, BJJ, Kempo and Krav Maga where there is emphasis on kicking, punching or wrestling.

Aikido is an extremely efficient self defence (also as Self-Defence Women London) system utilising balance-taking and posture-breaking movements to achieve joint locks, pins and throws. It contains elements of Ju Jitsu, Kendo, Judo and other budo.

Aikido Classes are held every Tuesday and Wednesday evening at our Harrow dojo, and Thursday evening at our Pinner dojo in NW London. Pinner Aikido Club London is a part of the Kai Shin Kai International Traditional Aikido Association (KSK), which is a member of the British Aikido Board (BAB).

Aikido is essentially a non-violent Martial art system that encourages the avoidance of confrontation and harmony with an aggressor. The classes are well attended with Aikido students always on the mat and aimed at all levels, from beginner to advanced but everyone is welcome to come along regardless of fitness or experience.

Our Aikido students work at their own pace during the training sessions and no one is forced into doing anything they are not comfortable with.
Pinner Aikido Club in London can help you achieve self-defense skills, self-esteem, confidence, and fitness. Most of all though, our classes are fun.

You do not have to be competitive or naturally athletic to take part in the Aikido class. Learning Aikido is about self-improvement and self-confidence.

Regardless of your size, body type and current level of physical ability or disability. If you are looking for a healthier, more confident way of life, then the modern art of Aikido may well be for you.

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